Everywhere You Need to Go When Visiting Pittsburgh

Originally published October 19th, 2017.

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I watched a vlog the other day of someone visiting Pittsburgh. From what I gathered, they stayed Downtown, visited the point, and then left.

Another one bites the dust. 

Why is there no guide telling tourist to go somewhere other than Downtown and Mt. Washington??

Don't get me wrong - Downtown is great. But Downtown is super different than anywhere else in Pittsburgh. I mean, there are like 15 skyscrapers and a lot of people in suits. No where else in Pittsburgh looks like that.

People who visit Pittsburgh should absolutely go to those spots, but they also should also visit other places.  

(Also - you don't need to ride The Incline. There. I said it.)

So, yeah. Here is your accessible guide on...

Where To Go in Pittsburgh:

The Northside

Literally, its so close to Downtown. You can walk. If you're staying Downtown, do not miss the Northside. This section of Pittsburgh used to be its own autonomous town called "Allegheny City." It got annexed to Pittsburgh the turn-of-the-century.

Pour one out for Allegheny City at Allegheny City Brewing, where you can get my favorite sour beer in Pittsburgh (as well as many other delicious brews). 

Walk through the Mexican War Streets and Allegheny West neighborhoods, as well as Allegheny Commons Park (especially the western part). 

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I should also probably mention the Mattress Factory and Randyland. One is a museum, and the other... well, you're going to need to see Randyland for yourself. 

The Children's Museum and The National Aviary are good for kids if you....you know, have kids. 

Food/Drink: 
Bier's Pub - amazing burgers and weekend brunch (and they soon will be brewing beer as well)
El Burro - burritos that will make you full for the rest of the day
Chateau Cafe and Cakery - coffee with great baked goods and sandwiches
Commonplace Coffee - a favorite Pittsburgh coffee shop 

Lawrenceville

The hipsters (and yuppie prepsters) would kick me off my Pittsburgh-blogger pedestal if I didn't tell people to go to Lawrenceville.

Yeah, yeah. Lawrenceville is great. There are tons of shops, restaurants, and bars. You will love it. Everyone who visits Lawrenceville loves it.

I would bike or bus there because driving and parking in Lawrenceville is LE WORST.

If you've got the time, start all the way down at Engine 25 Wines and walk all the way up to Allegheny Wine Mixer. That will take you through all of Lawrenceville.

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Places to stop along the way:
Franktuary - a tired and true food spot in Pittsburgh. amazing hot dogs (get the Bangkok or the Oahu)
Pittsburgh Juice Company - if you're into that sort of thing (fresh pressed juices), I think this is the best spot in the city
Wild Card - cute, kitschy card and knickknack shop
The Vandal - hipster eating place (great fried chicken and beignets) 
Industry Public House - I dislike the food (it's been 5 years, CHANGE YOUR MENU), but they have some funky cocktails. If you haven't been there 500 times (like me), you'd probably be into the food
No. 14 Boutique - my favorite clothing shop in Pittsburgh
The Candle Lab - make your own candle
Von Walter and Funk - colorful, classy, and shiny trinket shop
Nine Stores - great independent bookstore
Puseadee's Garden - thai food and the best patio in Pittsburgh (nice weather only)
Allegheny Wine Mixer - very funky wine bar

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Millvale

I live here, so I'm biased, but I think Millvale gives a great representation of real Pittsburgh, even though it is technically outside of the city. (Don't think that means it is far away - it isn't.) 

Walk around, people watch, see the houses, and talk to the residents. There is also a absurd amount of dive bars located within this tiny town - you've been warned.

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Food/Drink:
Grist House Brewery - dog friendly craft brewery (Pittsburgh favorite)
Draai Laag Brewery - another brewery, but this one makes funky (and delicious!) beers. sour beer lovers need to go here!
Mr. Smalls - great concert venue
Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery - authentic French bakery
Cousin's Bar- dive bar with horseshoes
Grant's Restaurant - kitschy with famous coconut cream pie
Tazza d'oro - wonderful (and instagramable) coffee shop
The Attic - impressive record store  

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Downtown

I didn't say you shouldn't go Downtown. I only said you shouldn't go just Downtown. Downtown is great. 

In terms of "things" to do, I would just suggest walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge and back. It is a special view of the city. 

Food/Drink:
Tako - taste Mexican/Japanese fusion food. funky decor
Union Standard - upscale American, great cocktails, brunch and dessert
or, The Whale - New England seafood/steak house. great brunch and cocktails. 
Pittsburgh Poke - decent poke for a fair price. ask them to go light on the mayo
Stuff'd pierogi bar- I've never been, but it is Pittsburgh! You have to have Pierogis while you're here!
Le Lyonnais - approachable French cuisine  
Condados Tacos - tasty, cheap tacos in a funky bar. great happy hour

There you have it, folks.

I know so many people are going to look at this and go:

"No Shadyside? No Oakland? No East Liberty? What is wrong with this girl?"

Let's get real. Who needs more than three days of recommendations?

I am not trying to overwhelm people. Above is the crème de la crème of Pittsburgh tourist tips. Go to those places, and you're good. 

If you need more spots, put your money where your mouth is and email me: madeline@thegal-ivanter.com 

I will happily oblige! 

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HAPPY GALLIVANTING!